Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki
31 / 01 / 20 - 16 / 08 / 20

The exhibition Weather Report: Forecasting Future in Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma is themed around the complex and varied relations between the human and nonhuman in an age when climate change and mass extinction are threatening the future of life on Earth. When imagining the future, humans face the responsibility of acknowledging multispecies entanglements and the need to renegotiate existing interspecies relations.

Weather Report: Forecasting Future is an exhibition looking at the relationship between humans and other life forms. Its main premise is that, in order to build the future, we must deepen our understanding of how species interact and depend on each other.

The featured artists give visibility to life forms that are easily disregarded by humans. Organisms such as microbes, algae and insects live in our midst, yet they often remain imperceptible due to their tiny size or slow rhythm. These nonhuman creatures are both the subject matter and co-creators of the artworks in this exhibition. Weather Report invites visitors to harken their senses to the coexistence of humans and their more-than-human neighbours and also to reflect upon the relationship between their own bodies and other life forms.

The artists
Finnish artist collective nabbteeri typically begin by mapping the place where they are temporarily set up. They gather the materials on site and incorporate recycled objects that evolve into mesh-like installations. Their works are compositions based on interactions between the artists and other things, including nonhuman organisms.

In the Nordic Pavilion nabbteeri delved into the materiality of the Pavilion and the Giardini. The hospitality that was both shown and rejected by the building itself was under their scrutiny, especially bird spikes that signal the unwantedness of the pigeons in the pavilion. In Kiasma, nabbteeri’s installation focuses on more-than-human presence in museum environment. The 2-channel video is a fragmented narrative of encounters with various co-beings, following the changing seasons and habitations in a diary-format.

Norwegian Ane Graff creates works that combine her material research with a broad range of research disciplines, e.g. microbiology and chemistry. Through her installations, she confronts the allegedly stable, science- and culture-based classifications, while asking how notions of human exceptionalism and dualistic thinking are connected to the ecological crisis.

The states of inflammation in Graff’s works refer to the connections between climate change, Western societies driven by economic growth, the extinction of immune-modulating intestinal microbes and the spread of inflammatory diseases. Her installation makes observable how the human body is entangled with other agencies, such as bacteria, as well as the toxicity of the environment.

Swedish Ingela Ihrman weaves together imagination, craft techniques, as well as sensibilities and personal experiences in her objects, moving images and texts. Drawing on the feminist performance tradition, she uses her own body to critically analyse culture-nature divisions and to open up the prevailing male and scientific gaze to queer horizons. Relating one’s own body to diverse material worlds or emulating their cycle of life can foster an enhanced understanding of life’s various entanglements.

Her algae installation tells a story of the liquid origins of human bodies and the existing connections between diverse lifeforms. Silent, large-scale objects invite the exhibition visitors to partake in a bodily experience. By allying with worlds commonly considered others, it is possible to transgress limiting concepts and to reconsider notions of belonging and co-existence.

The exhibition is curated by Kiasma’s director Leevi Haapala and curator Piia Oksanen.